J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?A Dark Interior, with a Naked Woman and Another Figure or Figures c.1834-6

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 12 Recto:
?A Dark Interior, with a Naked Woman and Another Figure or Figures c.1834–6
D28803
Turner Bequest CCXCI b 12
Watercolour on white wove paper, 77 x 101 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘12’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXCI(b) – 12’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The shape left by the area of bare paper towards the top right evokes a woman’s head in profile. There is the suggestion of another head beyond and the forms of a naked body or bodies in the centre, with perhaps another figure at the top left, all set within a dark interior. How fortuitous such a reading might be, given the rough spontaneity of the washes, is uncertain.
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
Verso:
Blank, save for slight offsetting of watercolour from folio 13 recto opposite (D28804).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?A Dark Interior, with a Naked Woman and Another Figure or Figures c.1834–6 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-dark-interior-with-a-naked-woman-and-another-figure-or-r1149033, accessed 26 January 2022.